A historiographic outline of the history of Estonian journalism


Keywords: history of Estonian journalism, historiography

The article provides a historiographic survey of studying and recording the history of Estonian journalism from the first review article published in 1901 to this day. The history can be divided into three periods. The first period lasted from the beginning of the 20th century to Soviet occupation. The few studies published addressed 19th-century journalism, which was treated either as an arena of ideological battles or as a subdivision of literature. The second period began in 1955–1956 and lasted until the late 1980s. The studies of that period can be divided into three groups: (a) continuation of the previous tradition (as far as possible, considering the Soviet conditions), (b) studies of the Bolshevist press of 1900–1944 (done mainly by historians from the Institute of Party History), expatriate publications on the fate of journalism in 1940–1944 and on jourmalism in exile. The third period began in the late 1980s, bringing a thematic and methodological diversification. The most prolific decade was the 1990s, which produced several substantial survey articles and a collection intended as the first part of an integrated history of Estonian journalism. Besides academic studies, the article points out some “apocryphic” material such as bibliographies, jubilee books, memoirs, biographies, popular articles, jubilee issues of newspapers and magazines, etc. as substantial sources of additional information.

Roosmarii Kurvits (b. 1969), PhD, University of Tartu, Project Manager (Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu), roosmarii.kurvits@ut.ee


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